17-year-old American, Amanda Anisimova shocked the world at the French Open quarterfinals by defeating defending German champion, Simona Halep. The New Jersey-born product became the first player born in the 2000s to reach a Grand Slam semifinal. She also became the youngest American to reach a semifinal at 17 years and 10 months since Venus Williams made it at 17 years and two months at the 1997 U.S. Open. This was Anisimova’s first match on the world’s most famous court, the Court Philippe Chatrier, and only needed 68 minutes to beat Halep.
Even Anisimova seemed stunned after her victory, saying, “I can’t believe it. I’ve been working so hard, but I didn’t think it would pay off like this. This is honestly more than anything I could ask for.”
Anisimova is the daughter of Russian immigrants Olga and Konstanin Anisimova, who moved to the United States in the late 1990s. They found a home in South Florida when Amanda was three, so that she and her older sister Maria could focus more on their training. Her father, Konstanin, was her coach throughout her youth and has helped her train and develop her skills into the tennis player she is today. It was always a dream to reach the professional stage and most specifically a major, and she got that chance. She then rewrote history.
When former champion Simona Halep was asked about Anisimova’s performance, she said, “She was pretty calm. She showed that she’s able to do good things and big things, so I think she has a chance.”
Anisimova then faced the number eight seed, Australian Ashleigh Barty in the semifinals on Friday morning, however, lost a close match. Given it was her first major at the age of 17, Anisimova looks to have a bright future ahead.